(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

PfcEFACIL                                                       ill
the preparation for ike first time of such tables, when {he materials on wMdi they
are based consist exclusively  manuscripts written in the Persian character.
An attempt to secure accuracy induces a feeling of absolute despair 5 for the
names of the places and people mentioned can only be verified on the spot,
inasmuch as they are too obscure to be tested by reference to other authorities^
and the wofds as written, if not absolutely illegible^ can be read at least three
or four different ways.
A remark, originally consisting of no more than three or four lines in my
first edition, hms been expanded into a {borough discussion on the etymology
of local namesj which occupies {he who! of Chapter XII. It incidentally
disposes of several crude theories on {b* subject, which ha?e been advanced by
scholars of more or less distinction under a misconception as to {he historical
growth of the modern vernacular of Upper India. The* conclusions at which
I arrive can scarcely be disputed, but they wffl probably be ignored as too fatal
to whimsical speculation*
In the matter of transEteration I have been more consistent than was
prescribed of necessity, in the- belief that compromise is always an evil, and in
{his matter is exceptionally so ; for wiiih a definite orthography there is no
reason whatever why in the course of two or three generations the immense
diversity of Indian alphabets, wMch at present form snch an obstacle to literary
intercourse and intellectual progress, shook! not all be abolished and {he Roman
character substituted in their stemd.
As to the word i ifkthura* itself, {he place has had an historical existence
for more than 2?000 years, and may reasonably demur to appearing in its old
age under such a vulgar and offensive form as * Huttra,' which represents
neither the correct pronunciation nor 'the etymology. Though it has been
visited by Europeans of many different nationalities, it was never so mutilated
till it fell into the hands of the English, now eighty years ago. Even the
Chinese, with a language that renders transliteration all but impossible, repre-
sent it, more correctly than we have hitherto done, under the form Mothulo.
llathuri Das, or some similar compound, is a name very frequently given by
Hindus to a child who has been bom after a pilgrimage to the holy city, and
It is always so spelt. Hence results the egregious absurdity that in any
oiicial list (Mathura Das of Mathura9 appears as c Mathura Das of Muttra/
with two utterly different spellings for one and the same word.
BULANDSHAHB,        1
{                                             F. S. GBOWSB.
April 21*, 1882.   }